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18 Gombe COVID-19 positive cases refuse govt isolation

No fewer than 30 persons are said to have evaded evacuation into various isolation centres in Gombe State.

Chairman, Task force committee on COVID-19,  Prof. Idris Mohammed, on Monday revealed that 12 people could be accounted for,  leaving the task force with the burden of 18 people outside the confine of the isolation and treatment facilities.

He said, “We have a total of 30 people yet to be evacuated in the state, out of the 30, five are Adamawa indigenes; we collected their samples and we gave them our epid numbers and they have since gone back to Adamawa State. But because of the epid numbers, they remain our cases on paper but in reality they are in Adamawa State.

“Two others were traced to Kano State and we notified the state epidemiologist and they have been placed in isolation; one other to Ogun, the state epidemiologist was called and another one was traced to Nasarawa State, we called the state epidemiologist and the last one to Borno state and he has been evacuated by the state.

“Out of 20 people remaining, they are the ones we are having some challenges evacuating but we are making efforts. As of Sunday, we evacuated two. The good thing is that as most of them are trying not to come, so they are in self isolation, they don’t come out in the open but the traditional rulers and political leaders where they reside are working with the task force to ensure they are evacuated, treated and discharged lawfully.

Source: PunchNews

COVID-19 task forces show bias against pastors violating lockdown directives – Isong, PFN spokesperson

National Publicity Secretary of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Emmah Isong, discusses the recent controversial statements made by Pentecostal pastors and other issues with GBENRO ADEOYE

Some Pentecostal pastors have been caught having services despite the ban on gatherings and religious services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those caught in Abuja recently was seen on video denying his church members; don’t you think it portrays church leaders as irresponsible?

One, the COVID-19 restrictions, curfews and so on differ from state to state. I’m in Cross River State and the laws here are different from the laws in Akwa Ibom State.

Two, before the lockdown and restriction orders, the pastors were not properly carried along. Of course there was some urgency when the pandemic came and the government forgot about consultation, which is a major aspect of administration. That made a lot of pastors to be ignorant of the operations. It is like waking up one day and saying everybody should stop drinking water. Then you start arresting people drinking water without doing enough consultations and giving out adequate information.

Three, there have been accusations of bias against the task forces, especially the Abuja Task Force. I saw a video where a pastor was arrested for holding a service. During another operation, the same COVID-19 task force in Abuja saw another religious gathering, which was not a Christian gathering, and they said to them, ‘Make una no do am again o, you hear; we are going to Garki now. (Don’t it again; did you hear that? We are going to Garki now).’ With the bias exhibited by task forces in different states and the Federal Capital Territory, most of the young pastors see it as a religious war. They don’t understand that COVID-19 is a dangerous virus and that their churches are not closed because of the Antichrist. If they had properly consulted them and given them information that they were helping them, the pastors would have said, ‘Thank you, I didn’t know.’ But when you go there as if you are fighting a religious war and start taking away their drums and keyboards, there would be suspicions. You know, they move there like thugs and there are no sufficient explanations.

Do you think that is an excuse as people who are not pastors know the dangers of gathering at this time and this information is broadcast on TV and radio every time?

Let me explain it better to you: you are treating these pastors like criminals and in the same environment, leaders of other religious organisations are moving freely and markets are open. I’m not saying people do not hear about it in the news but they doubt your explanation. If you give food to five of your children and add sugar to the meals of four of them but do not add sugar to the meal of the last one because he is diabetic, if you do not explain to that child that you did not give him sugar because of their diabetes, the child will react. Sensitisation, mobilisation and so on are important. I will give you an example: I’m the National Publicity Secretary of all the Pentecostal churches in Nigeria, but the COVID-19 teams at the federal and state levels have never called me or met with me to seek assistance to make things easy for them. Can you explain that?

Publish it and let somebody challenge me that he has contacted our national office or contacted me. How do you go into somebody’s house and begin to beat up his wife? He will react.

Then why is it that in states where religious gatherings have been banned, only Christian leaders have been found to be violators?

Are you daring me to send you videos showing gatherings of other religious worshippers? I can send you videos of other religious bodies meeting and they are being treated with kid gloves. I’m not supporting these pastors; I’m saying you are treating religious bodies differently. There is bias if you don’t treat religious leaders the same way. If pastors have been arrested several times for violating the lockdown directive and they are seen on the Internet, it does not mean that those who haven’t been arrested have not been meeting.

This is Ramadan period and I know that people are still going about their normal meetings. There is a video of an Imam saying that COVID-19 is not real and that it is an attempt by the US government to play down the spirit of Ramadan. And he spoke to a large gathering of followers. I’m not taking issues with anyone; I’m saying COVID-19 is real but the task forces, Federal Government and states governments have not used the right channel and said, ‘Please, PFN, help us pass this message to your people.’ It is not about taking whips and start flogging people. Do you know there is something called fundamental human rights? Even if I have broken the law, do you know you have violated my fundamental human rights by breaking into my church, taking away my equipment, beating up me and my members and take me away as the pastor? There are legal procedures to follow. You are giving churches a bad image and disgracing people on social media.

You cannot use the police to be hunting down pastors and putting handcuffs on them in public and disgracing them on videos when there are enough channels to interpret what COVID-19 is and mobilise religious leaders so they can sensitise their members to it.

I’m doing online services in my church and it is because I’m educated enough to know that it is killing people. In the US, I have seen many people killed. Many people have died in a church in New York where I have a lot of friends. But every day, you are parading pastors on the Internet and abusing the church of God. Are you aware that major church leaders are not holding services in their churches, except online? The Redeemed Christian Church of God and Living Faith Church Worldwide (Winners Chapel) are not holding services and the President of the PFN, Rev Dr Felix Omobude, is not holding services in his church.

Muslim leaders are also not doing holding services in mosques…

I’m not speaking for Muslims; I’m speaking for Christians. I’m not the public relations officer of an Islamic association.

A number of famous Pentecostal pastors have been making wild allegations and comments, including Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, who said 5G tech brought coronavirus and that the administration of its vaccine would be used to enthrone a new world order led by the Antichrist. What do you think about that?

Pastor Chris is an independent minister; he is not a member of the PFN.

What about Bishop David Oyedepo who questioned why churches should remain closed when markets are allowed to open while insinuating that there was a conspiracy against Christians…

We are back to what we were discussing. Look at Bishop Oyedepo’s statement, for instance. When an educated man like that who understands politics and the ministry makes a statement like that, if I were in government, I would call him and discuss with him and not just send media attackers against him. This man was speaking on behalf of millions of his members and other Christians who believe in him? Do you think he woke up, took alcohol and spoke? No!

But shouldn’t he know better as mosques and other religious houses were also closed?

I’m telling you about opinion influencers and fathers of faith like that. If a man like David Oyedepo coughs, people should catch a cold. He is not just a Nigerian leader; he is a spiritual leader and has the ability to hear from people and the Holy Spirit. We can consider his statement and say truly, markets and other places are open. Meanwhile, some streets in some states are busier than churches. I’m not promoting this; Bishop Oyedepo said churches are more organised than some of these market places and my question is: is it true or false? People should answer that.

He insinuated that there was a conspiracy or a deliberate plan against churches when we all know mosques and other religious houses are also not operating. Is that not dangerous?

I said if you go to a church that is violating the lockdown directive, the simple thing to do is to seal it or take the pastor to a mobile court. You shouldn’t take their drums, beat up people and behave like there is a Jihadist attack on the church. That is what I’m telling you. The kind of behaviour that we have seen in different states can make people ask if the actions are anti-coronavirus or anti-Christ. It is not just about Oyedepo, everybody is thinking: what is going on? Anybody can give an explanation to anything until you make them understand what is going on.

But don’t you think more pastors are being found to be violating the directive because more Christian leaders are violating it than other religious leaders?

Do you have evidence that more churches are violating it than other religious bodies? One Million Boys (a group of hoodlums) are still meeting in Lagos, true or false? Ogboni fraternity and others are still meeting, true or false? If One Million Boys are meeting and attacking people, why can’t 100 people sit and maintain social distancing in churches? You can allow Christians and Muslims to meet and give them instructions. I hope you know that this virus will not go away; even the World Health Organisation has said it. So are you going to close churches and mosques forever? Is that what you are saying? What is to be done in 300 years’ time should be started now.

The right thing to do is to tell them to sanitise their hands, no hugging, no touching, possibly no laying hands on people, check the temperature of everyone that comes to church, and so on. You can give protocols of service. Have newspapers and TV and radio stations not been opening their offices and selling papers and transmitting? Give churches and mosques the same protocols media houses, markets and other places are using and only arrest people that violate the protocols.

Why is it difficult for church leaders to endure for a few weeks so that the government can put some measures in place to ensure the pandemic is contained?

I have told you about biases, the need for adequate information, how there has been no engagement with the proper channel and how they have been speaking to people in the language they understand and so on.

Why are you comparing markets and places that offer essential services to religious houses when you know they are not the same?

I can give you up to seven reasons why spiritual services are essential services. Nobody would troop to churches or mosques if they were not essential. Compare the number of people that go to churches and mosques to the number of people that go to supermarkets. Which one attracts more people? You cannot remove spiritual houses from the list of places that provide essential services.

People cannot survive if they can’t buy food from the market but since people stopped going to churches and mosques, have they died?

So when a pastor asks the same people to gather despite the lockdown directive, why is the place full? I’m waiting for your response before we go ahead. Why do they go if it is not essential? You cannot determine what is essential to people because what is essential to you may not be essential to me. Lawmakers and some organs of government have been meeting; lockdown directive should not only be meant for men of God. Some of these pastors you are talking about are professors, architects, and so on. I’m a trained banker and I graduated from a renowned Nigerian university. Are you aware that Oyedepo is an architect and Pastor Enoch Adeboye is a mathematician, so you are not talking to idiots? These are educated and intelligent people who contribute so much to the GDP.

Are you aware that continued closure of churches has disadvantages?  One, the release of spiritual tension has been taken away. Two, commercial motorcyclists and others take people to and from churches are not making the money they used to make. Those who sell food around churches have been affected. Do you know how much we spend on adverts in the media? We spend N3bn on TV adverts. Those pastors are paying. Closing churches is like shutting down the economy of Nigeria.

The Federal Government recently said it had asked churches and mosques to submit guidelines so it could consider reopening worship centre, what do you think about that?

Yes, the guidelines should include Basic Hygiene Protocol –washing of hands, using hand sanitisers, face masks, and so on. Also, they should maintain social distancing and hold short services. There should be no after church interactions, no laying of hands on the sick, and more electronic ways to giving offerings should be encouraged. Microphones should be disinfected after use and so on.

Why do you think about Pastor David Ibiyeomie saying he doubted that COVID-19 was Nigeria and likening it to malaria? Why are Pentecostal pastors misinforming the public?

Don’t you think something prompted Ibiyeomie to say that? Do you think he is a crazy man or that he drank alcohol? Don’t you think the story of Raymond Dokpesi (founder of DAAR Communications) made him to say that? He mentioned his name. Don’t you think the case of a Benue woman who has threatened to sue the COVID-19 team could have made Ibiyeomie to say that? Don’t you think the lady in Imo State who threatened the COVID-19 team could have led to that? What Ibiyemie was saying is that even if COVID-19 is real, there is political COVID-19. Do you doubt that?

Yes, there is medical COVID-19, which is real and killing people but there are also political COVID-19 and economic COVID-19. People are making billions of naira from palliatives. And for political COVID-19, any governor can wake up and claim they have COVID-19 and in two weeks, they are cured. No test, no isolation and after two weeks, they say they are free. Things happen that make people say what they say.

Don’t you think people whose voices carry so much weight should be careful about what they say when they don’t have any evidence to support their claims?

It is people like you who say they should be careful that will also say why can’t people be allowed to talk. They are killing people in this country and people are not talking. We have freedom of speech in the constitution; allow people to express their different opinions. The problem is that you talk but don’t want to allow me to talk. Are you aware of the controversy that no village in the Niger Delta has received a bag of rice or a bottle of water despite billions of naira approved for palliatives? Are you aware that in Bayelsa, people have been fighting for two weeks over the distribution of COVID-19 materials which had been sent to them because they said the palliatives provided by the state government were given to members of the Peoples Democratic Party and therefore the palliatives from the Federal Government should go to members of the All Progressives Congress?

People should be allowed to speak. When you stand around an elephant, I can say it is a rope if I touch its tail, while another person can say it is a wall if they touch the body. Why is it such a big deal to you that everybody must have a similar opinion about an issue? Even if the opinion is scientific, proven and generally accepted by the United Nations, the law of the land permits Mr X, Y and Z to also have their opinions. Allow people to have contrary opinions. We live in a world of free press and free speech. People should have contrary opinions ad feel free to express them, and not be attacked or victimised. Oyedepo and Oyakhilome should be allowed to speak their minds. You are a journalist, permit people to speak their minds. Let people speak for pros and cons. They may be pastors but they are also Nigerians and the constitution gives them the right to air their personal views. Nigerians, allow people to speak their minds.

What if they are misleading people with falsehood?

It is their right. When they call your view lies, you are angry, now you are calling theirs lies. Why should your opinion be true and my own be called lies?

Because there should be facts to support their statements instead of just saying 5G is responsible for COVID-19 or that the virus is not in Nigeria.

Defend free speech even if it is stupid. It is their right.

Are you aware that comments made by the pastors are making them look very desperate to resume services because of the money they are losing through offerings and tithes?

Are you saying these pastors live by tithes and offering? COVID-19 lockdown has lasted for about two months in some places, has any pastor died of hunger? Rather what we see are pastors distributing palliatives worth thousands and millions of naira to their members and non-members. In my church, we feed people every Saturday. We give out food, hand sanitisers, face masks and so on and we have done that for two months. It is the same pastors we think rely on tithes and offering that are giving out palliatives and not the government. Many communities have not seen one bag of rice from the government, but have received many things from pastors. You must find out why the pastors you hate so much are loved by their people so much.

Some pastors have succeeded in brainwashing and creating fear in the minds of people which some are doing now by linking COVID-19 to 5G to give their members reasons to run to them…

Why can’t the government create the fear if we are not more powerful than them? Who owns the media? Who owns the money and controls the police and the military? Who should create fear? Is it a bloody civilian without catapults? Why can’t the government brainwash people? You are abusing the Nigerian government by your statement and I don’t like it. You are saying the mighty Federal Government does not have the power to control the minds of people and that these poor pastors have the powers.

The Catholic Church has offered all its 425 hospitals in the country for use as isolation centres, what have Pentecostal churches done?

I have told you what Pentecostal churches are doing. Have you gone to the hospitals, are they in use? I am telling you that Pentecostal churches have donated things like equipment. Are you saying the government only needs hospitals and not equipment? I take exception to people only seeing Pentecostal churches as greedy and useless and yet, their congregations believe in them and love them. Their messages and teachings protect Nigerians from having mental problems amid the problems of this country. I’m not saying there is no black sheep among them.

Many people believe churches are taking more and more from the poor to become richer and richer despite the economic challenges in the country and poverty among citizens…

Where do you see them taking more and more from the poor? The principle of giving is to give willingly and within your capacity. Nobody has put gun to your head and compelled you to give.

Many people, including the Archbishop of Enugu Province, Anglican Communion, Most Rev Emmanuel Chukwuma, have said the pandemic has exposed many pastors who claim to prophesy and perform miracles. Do you agree?

I prophesied about coronavirus and it came to pass. Google it. Two, you are claiming that it has not been cured but that is not true. Many pastors have prayed and it has disappeared. If you say it has exposed churches, has it not exposed our lack of good health care system? Has it not exposed lack of solidarity in leadership? Has it not exposed lack of ingenuity in politicians? Why is it that it is things that have to do with pastors that are important to you? Has it not exposed some medical doctors or the failure by varsities to research despite huge sums of money given to research centres? Has it not proved that there is no hospital in Aso Villa and that there is no equipment in our hospitals? It has also exposed that there are fake journalists. Don’t we have fake journalists, policemen, soldiers and doctors and so on?


Nigerians evacuated from UK protest continued isolation, poor treatment

Nigerians quarantined by the  Federal Government since their evacuation from the United Kingdom on Saturday protested against their continued isolation in Abuja.

The FG’s  COVID-19 policy for passengers flying into the country stipulates institutionalised isolation for 14 days.

However, videos showing the evacuees protesting at Barcelona Hotel, Wuse 2, in the Federal Capital Territory have gone viral on social media.

They complained that since their return to Nigeria on May 8, their passports had not been returned to them, neither had any government official addressed them.

One of the face mask-wearing protesters said, “They are just keeping us here to make money. Yes, the more they keep you here, the more money they make.”

Another yet-to-be-identified protester, speaking to someone off camera, said, “If we don’t fly tomorrow, the permit the airline has secured is cancelled. We have spent only two months abroad just for a two-week vacation. We have not worked for a single day. We left our families back home, stranded.

“Government has kept us here. Since we came on May 8, nobody has come to address us, except you that are talking to us. You are the first person coming to address us. We are not animals; this is our country. The place we have come from, they did not treat us this way.”

Another evacuee  said, “We even had tests there.”

The unidentified protester, who donned a red T-shirt, added that each evacuees paid £350 to conduct COVID-19 tests before their departure from the UK.

He said, “That is over N200,000, and they still haven’t addressed us. When we landed in Lagos, it was the same treatment. (For) five hours, we were under the sun, standing. Nobody gave us anything. Are we criminals? Is it a crime to go  on holiday abroad?

“Where we were coming from, we were treated as human beings. Why is our country treating us this way? Then you will come tomorrow and tell me to love my country?

“I left my four-year-old children for over two months for a two-week vacation. I’ve not been to the office for two months. And they have not come to talk to us at this minute. It is very unfair.”

Efforts to get the reaction of the Ministry of Heath to the plight of the evacuees proved abortive as its spokesperson, Jimi Oyetomi, did not respond to calls and a text message to his line.

Similarly, calls and a text message to the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Strategic Communications to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abubakar Sani, were not answered.


COVID-19: Volunteers At LUTH Shut Operations Over Non-Payment Of Allowances

Volunteers At LUTH Shut Operations Over Non-Payment Of Allowances

The lives of around one hundred covid-19 patients admitted at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital isolation centres may now be in danger.

That’s because the hospital’s team of voluntary responders shutdown operations on Saturday following the non-payment of special allowances for three months.

TVC News gathered that several patients who were meant to be tested today to ascertain their status and find whether they would be discharged have now been called off.

Not even a visit of the presidential task force to the hospital could assuage the workers as no concrete guarantees were obtained as to when the payments would be made.

Lagos University Teaching Hospital is a frontline response facility in the war on the virus in Nigeria, given its location in the nation’s commercial capital city.

Only weeks ago, the hospital recorded a number of successes including taking the lead in Nigeria to safely deliver coronavirus-positive pregnant women one of whom had a set of twins.


Madagascar to sign confidentiality clause with WHO on COVID-Organics

President Andry Rajoelina says Madagascar will sign a confidentiality clause with the World Health Organization on the formulation of COVID-Organics, the purported cure for the coronavirus pandemic.

He disclosed this after a teleconference with WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghabreyesus on Wednesday. He also said the WHO had agreed to support the country’s clinical observation process.

“Successful exchange with Dr Tedros who commends Madagascar’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19,” he posted on Twitter.

Confirming the call, the WHO boss tweeted: “Good call with HE Rajoelina, President of Madagascar, about the #COVID19 situation in his country.

“We discussed how to work together on therapeutics research and development. And we agreed that solidarity is key to fighting the pandemic and keeping the world safe,” he added.


70% of Nigeria’s COVID-19 deaths had hypertension or diabetes – Minister

FILE: Doctors dressing up for their shift [PHOTO: THEWILL]

Related News

The majority of COVID-19 deaths recorded in Nigeria were as a result of complications arising from underlining ailments such as hypertension and diabetes.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this at the daily Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Thursday.

He said about 70 per cent of fatalities recorded were persons over 60 years of age.

”The morbidity of fatalities we have had with COVID-19, 70 per cent of them had hypertension or diabetes and the rest were kidney disease, HIV, cancer, tuberculosis and other challenges.

“​A finding from the analysis of the death pattern shows 30 per cent of male and female around that ratio and about 70 per cent of fatalities were persons over 60 years old while majority of positives were persons between the ages of 29 and 49,” he said.

According to the World Health Organisation, (WHO), most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.

Also, older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

As of Wednesday, 6,677 cases had been recorded in Nigeria. Out of these, 1,840 have been discharged and 200 deaths have been recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

No symptoms

Mr Ehanire said nearly half of the 200 COVID-19 deaths recorded in the country occurred at home.

He noted that about 50 per cent of persons who died as a result of the virus at home did not display any symptom.

He appealed to everyone who tests positive to immediately report for treatment.

He advised those who have taken the test and awaiting result to heed the advisory to ”self-isolate from friends, wear face masks and observe hand and respiratory hygiene until their result was released.

”By so doing, their family, friends community would be protected from contracting the virus, ” he said.

Testing capacity

The minister said only 1,500 tests were being conducted daily despite the capacity to conduct 2,500 tests daily.

This he said is due to inadequate surveillance and contact tracing in states.

He urged state governments to increase the number of surveillance teams, so that more testing could be conducted in the laboratories.

He noted that new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) have been developed to help track surveillance strategic directions and programmes.


El-Rufai says doctors threatening strike risk job loss

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has said medical doctors and other health workers threatening to embark on industrial action in the state risk losing their jobs, noting that his administration would not “bow to blackmail”.

In a statement on Thursday night by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, the governor said he would keep the health facilities in the state running and protect workers who are willing to work.

Responding to the strike notice served by health workers in the state, El-Rufai said it is “criminal” to declare a strike action amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

He said his government would not be bent by the strike action into excluding health workers from the mandatory donation of 25% salary by all civil servants to fund the provision of palliatives for vulnerable people impacted by the lockdown.

He said, “The government rejects the strike threat and will regard persons who fail to show up at their assigned places of work as having forfeited their employment. Every health worker that is willing to work is required to sign the register at the Ministry of Health and the health institutions to which they are deployed.

“The Ministry of Health has the mandate of the government to ensure that residents of Kaduna State are not deprived of public health services.

“Every effort will be made to ensure that health facilities keep functioning, staffed by willing workers who will be guaranteed free and safe access to health facilities. Those who are not willing to work are strongly warned against criminal actions such as attempts to impede access to workplaces, harass willing workers or to sabotage facilities and equipment.

“The state government will not be misled into granting health workers a special status amongst public servants. The consequences of concessions made along such lines by previous governments have created a sense that some public servants are more precious than others.”


COVID-19 may increase school drop outs, girl child enrolment – Minister

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to affect girl-child education and increase the number of school drop-outs in the country, says Mrs Pauline Tallen, the Minister of Women Affairs. Tallen expressed her concern on Friday while flagging off the 2020 National Children’s Day celebration, themed: “Promoting Girl-Child Education for Sustainable Development’’, in Abuja. According to her, the pandemic coupled with the subsequent closure of schools has exposed the girl-child to all forms of violence and is likely to affect the girl-child education. “As we are all aware, the country is already facing the struggle of getting the girl-child enrolled and retained in school, the COVID-19 pandemic has a high tendency to set us back as the likelihood for increased school drop-out rates of those already enrolled. “These issues will further widen the gender gaps in education and lead to increase in all forms of violence such as sexual, physical and emotional exploitation, early and forced marriages, child trafficking and child labour,” she said. The minister, therefore, appealed to parents to ensure their children returned to school as soon as academic activities commence, to bridge gender gaps in line with the SDGs 4. She also expressed concerns over the plights of Almajiri children, who were subjected to inhumane conditions, calling on state governments to develop strategies that would address the situation. “Apart from hunger and starvation, the Almajiris are saddled with the inhuman treatment of transporting them to their states of origin in trucks meant to convey cargo, the trauma of being rejected by their own state government is painful, shameful and unacceptable,’’ she said. Tallen, however, appealed to the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) to bring the issues of Almajiri to a logical conclusion, as well as respect and protect their human rights by implementing the Child Rights Act in states yet to pass it into law. In commemoration of the 2020 World Menstrual Health Day, the minister stressed the need to protect females from negative effects of poor menstrual health and hygiene management to enable them realise their full potentials and contribute to national development. Ms Elizabeth Jeiyol, the National Coordinator, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), said the theme for the World Menstrual Hygiene Day, “Periods Don’t Stop for Pandemics’’ highlighted the difficulty of accessing menstrual products during the lockdown. Jeiyol, therefore, reiterated the commitment of the council toward ensuring access to WASH facilities. “We urge stakeholders to ensure that WASH facilities in schools and public spaces are made easier for women and girls to manage their menstrual hygiene and create awareness in removing stigma around menstruation,” said the coordinator. The UNICEF Country Representative, Milen Kidane, reiterated their commitment toward providing services during the pandemic as well as ensuring that the Almajiri children transferred back to their states reunited with their families.